Policy analysis to assess the impact of inadequate Emergency Obstetric Care (EmOC) services on maternal mortality in Balochistan Pakistan
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Government of Balochistan, Quetta, Pakistan
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1075
All indicators of women’s health and social and economic condition are abysmal in Pakistan. The Pakistan Maternal Mortality Survey (PMMS) 2019 estimates MMR at 186. MMR is a telling indicator of women’s status in society and their access to and the quality of healthcare available to them. On the other hand, from family planning, perinatal, antenatal care and childbirth to caring for the newborn, there are now proven interventions available that are simple and cheap at each step. They can ensure mother and child health improvement if effectively and consistently employed. However, maternal health-related targets in Pakistan are falling short of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). One of the key reasons behind this is there is neither priority nor adequate investment by the government in providing EmOC services to poor communities. I used primary and secondary data sources to investigate the impact of inadequate EmOC services on maternal mortality in Balochistan, a disadvantaged province of Pakistan. The analysis shows that one of the factors behind stark inequalities in MMR is inadequate EmOC services in Balochistan compared to other provinces. For example, MMR in Punjab is 157, and for Balochistan province, it is 298. The high mortality correlates with the state of EmOC services in the province, which is inadequate and non-functional and not on the government’s agenda. The study revealed that even the availability of basic EmOC services could make a difference in women’s and newborns life from safe pregnancy to delivery. The study findings recommend the government should ensure access to EmOC services for women, which is essential to saving their lives. It should be considered an essential component of the healthcare delivery system at all levels of healthcare service delivery. It requires an adequate and functional transport system and hospital equipment to deal with emergency cases.
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